Leaves haven't yet fallen to the ground and the gymnasium of iS8 in Jamaica Queens felt hot enough to film a scene from Do The Right Thing. Make no mistake though, fall is here. The iS8/Nike Fall Tip-Off Classic says so, and Friday night's relatively close game action kicked the tournament off to an auspicious start.
South Shore Basketball Club edges Riverside
In the marquee game, Riverside managed to stick around like a lingering cold against South Shore. Ultimately, a tsunami-like 14-2 fourth quarter run from the Brooklyn HS squad (led by junior guard Terrence Samuel) was the Nyquil that put Riverside to sleep for good, 64-54.
Early on, each squad's linchpin fought to keep things even, as 6'2" wing Emile Blackman and 6'6" senior forward Wayne Martin kept Riverside and South Shore, respectively, neck and neck. Explosive athleticism and long range shooting from Terry Tarpey (coupled with solid team defense) also gave Riverside a helping hand, while South Shore's sophomore PG, Doudmy Saint Hilaire, chipped in with some outside shooting and pretty drives.
South Shore's 28-21 lead at the half was indicative of the state of the scoreboard for much of the contest, despite a valiant effort from Blackman in the third quarter. (The senior from Half Hollow Hills West HS scored nine of Riverside's 11 third quarter points.) However, Blackman and Tarpey managed to lead Riverside on a mini-run that pulled them back within a deuce, 46-44, with 4:05 left. But that was when the touted Samuel picked up where Martin left off. A series of immensely difficult and gritty moves to the hoop led the charge that buried Riverside in the final minutes of play. Great team ball movement and passing also allowed inside buckets that Riverside failed to stop, stifling all chances of a comeback for the prestigious AAU program.
Wayne Martin's 21 points paced South Shore. Terrence Samuel and Doudmy Saint Hilaire chipped in with 11 each. Emile Blackman's 20 points led Riverside. Terry Tarpey added 15.
Student Athletes' Determination not enough to sink Bay Shore
Sometimes determination alone can will a team to a win. That said, Determined Student Athletes truly lived up to their name at times, clawing back into the game each time it seemed all hope was lost. Nonetheless, their efforts weren't enough to seal the deal, as Bay Shore held on for a 57-49 win in the early game.
Determined Student Athletes didn't show much determination to win at the start, as they fell into an early 18-7 hole. 6'4" senior Bruce Thompson and 5'9" junior Bryson Lassiter set the pace for the Long Island unit, while Determined Student Athletes (comprised primarily of Campus Magnet HS personnel) struggled with blown lay-ups. Despite the early struggles of the Queens team, Brian Byrd, Justin Harvey and Dashawn Benson conjured up a 9-0 run to pull them within two and make it a game.
Caffeinated defense from Determined Student Athletes succeeded in turning Bay Shore over and creating fast break opportunities. A strong fourth quarter from Henry was capped with a bucket at the 1:30 mark to finally knot the game at 48. Bay Shore, however, had an answer every time. Whether it was a timely hoop from Gerrell Irvin or a wild, off-balance, third quarter buzzer-beating circus shot from Lassiter, the Long Island squad found ways to keep the Student Athletes' determination from changing the tide. A pair of clutch free throws from Lassiter inched the game to safe waters for Bay Shore.
Bryson Lassiter and Bruce Thompson led Bay Shore with 18 and 12 points, respectively. Justin Henry's 16 points, Dashawn Benson's 12, Christian Watson's 10, and Brian Byrd's 8 led Determined Student Athletes.
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